By Associated Press - Monday, July 28, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Projects in five Michigan counties are getting a share of more than $2.5 million to help fight blight as well as create senior housing, officials said.

The work is planned for Berrien, Calhoun, Genesee, Ingham and Kalamazoo counties. The Community Development Division of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority announced funding for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 last week.

“Blight has been undermining the urban cores in these counties for too long,” MSHDA Executive Director Scott Woosley said in a statement. “These resources will help further stabilize neighborhoods by eliminating some of the vacant and abandoned properties that drive down housing values and lead to crime and disinvestment.

“It’s a first step toward the restoration process.”

The Genesee County Land Bank Authority is getting more than $396,000 for the demolition of 34 single-family homes; Battle Creek and the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority are getting nearly $265,000 for the demolition of 24 homes; and the Ingham County Land Bank Authority will see more than $155,000 for the demolition of eight homes.

The Berrien County Land Bank Authority is getting $119,000 for the demolition of 12 homes. Meanwhile, Kalamazoo is getting more than $181,000 for the demolition of 19 homes and the Kalamazoo County Land Bank Authority is getting more than $1.4 million to create 10 units of senior housing at the Prairie Gardens development.

“As our senior population lives longer and stronger, we want to make sure communities have an ample supply of housing to meet their needs,” Woosley said.

Another round of funding could be announced as early as August, Woosley said.



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